We are all writing a story with our lives. Someday, when we look back over the pages, our favorite chapters will speak of the moments when we found our greatest sense of purpose or felt our deepest connection to others. When these two things come together, that is where our story really comes alive.

Our family is writing a story of hope and change for vulnerable children on the streets of Uganda through education, health initiatives and permanency. This is where our own unique experiences, passions and gifts have come together and revealed the best way for us to serve.

There is a great deal of pressure right now to view the world in terms of "us" and "them" but we refuse to let fear or hatred be the author of our story.

Our family has been the target of hate from those that fear people that are different but the negativity only serves to validate that we are doing the right thing.

We do not have to make a choice regarding who is worthy of our kindness based on the color of their skin, where they were born, where they are currently living or their religion. There is no limit on compassion and it only grows the more we give and serve, whether the need is in our community or half-way around the world. When we open our hearts to help others, we are often surprised to find that we have as much to gain as we discover our purpose and find joy in serving.

What story are you writing with your life? We hope that you will join with us in finding the ways that you are best able to serve others. Whether it's assisting veterans in finding jobs, helping refugees to begin a new life in our city, volunteering with a fire department or tutoring school children, we all have a purpose and a way we are called to serve. While that purpose may be different for each of us, we can all join together to make the world a brighter place through love in action. Let our voices be heard as we speak out and stand up against hate as our story unfolds.

— Amie Wagner, wife and mother of four who is "learning to be the light" lives in Honeoye Falls, owner of Uprising & Amie Liz Photography